During April I'm participating in the A to Z blogging challenge.
Each day, sans Sunday, offers an opportunity to write about a
letter of the alphabet with the goal of writing 26 posts.
April is also National Poetry Month.
As my AP Lit and Comp students have studied literature this year, one of our favorite topics centers on the failure of language. Modernism, and the way it expresses this failure of language and reimagines the way artists speak, is probably my favorite literary period.
Modern writers often utilize LITOTES to articulate this loss of language. Litotes uses negatives, often double negatives, as an ironic understatement to express meaning. For example, when we say, "No too bad," we actually mean "pretty good."
I show students a podcast from The Close Reading Co-operative as an introduction to litotes, and I encourage students in my Communication 1101 to play with litotes in their persuasive speeches. Litotes often offers these students a unique way to define a complicated concept or idea.
Sometimes saying what we don't mean works more effectively than saying what we mean.
|I took the picture above at Yellowstone National Park in the|
Lower Geyser Basin. Sadly, tourists sometimes mistake the
crystal blue pools as swimming holes and dismiss warnings
not to swim.